Castroville Artichoke Festival


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Castroville Artichoke Festival

Third weekend in September
The Castroville Artichoke Festival is one of the oldest agricultural festivals in California, held in Castroville, which calls itself the "Artichoke Center of the World." The two-day festival began in 1959 with a barbecue and parade; there is still a parade, and the lead float traditionally carries the Artichoke Queen and a huge green artichoke replica. Other events include a classic car show, a fun run, and displays of "AGROart"—sculptures composed of fruits and vegetables. Food booths offer artichoke cookies and french-fried artichokes. Attendance may reach 14,000.
Castroville, founded in 1863 by Juan Bautista Castro, was an agricultural community from the start. In 1888 sugar beets became an important crop on the land west of Castro's settlement. When beet prices declined in 1921, Andrew J. Molera, the owner of the land, decided to grow artichokes, which were new to the U.S. market. He provided the plants for the first crop and leased the acreage to farmers. By 1925, more than 4,000 acres of artichokes were being cultivated, and by 1929 artichokes were the third largest cash crop of the Salinas Valley.
CONTACTS:
Castroville Festivals
P.O. Box 1041
Castroville, CA 95012
831-633-2465
www.artichoke-festival.org
References in periodicals archive ?
This month, the town celebrates its harvest with the annual Castroville Artichoke Festival, which has been drawing crowds since 1958.
The annual Castroville Artichoke Festival has been canceled because the El Nino rains ruined much of the crop, which comes in March.
Sunday the tour moves off to the coast for the annual Castroville Artichoke Festival.